Genre: Western

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Slow Burn Cowboy – Maisey Yates – 3.5 stars

May 12, 2017 Harlequin, NetGalley 2

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Slow Burn Cowboy – Maisey Yates – 3.5 starsSlow Burn Cowboy by Maisey Yates
Published by HQN Books on May 1st 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Western, Contemporary, General
Pages: 384
Source: NetGalley.com
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three-half-stars

In Copper Ridge, Oregon, a cowboy's best friend might turn out to be the woman of his dreams…

If Finn Donnelly makes a plan, he sticks to it. After his brothers left Copper Ridge, Finn stayed behind, determined to keep their ranch going by himself. And when he realized his feelings for Lane Jensen were more than platonic, he shoved that inconvenient desire away. It was easy…until it wasn't. Suddenly his brothers are coming home to claim their share of the property. And Lane is no longer just in his fantasies. She's in his arms, and their friendship is on the line…

He's been her buddy, her handyman, her rock. But until that one breathtaking kiss, Lane somehow overlooked the most important thing about Finn Donnelly—he's all man. They're right together, no matter how much his volatile past has bruised him. Finn wants to hold Lane's body, but he doesn't want to hold her heart. But Lane is falling fast and now she's got a plan of her own…to show Finn there's nothing hotter than friendship turned to slow-burning love.

Also includes a bonus Copper Ridge novel, Take Me, Cowboy!

Finn Donnelly likes control, so when his entire life is turned upside down he begins to unravel.   Finn has spent the last 20 years working on the Laughing Irish Ranch with his grandfather, so when his grandfather passes away he can’t for the life of him understand why his grandfather didn’t leave the ranch only to him.  Instead the ranch was left in equal shares to Finn and his three brothers.  Finn is at a loss as to why his grandfather did this to him since his brothers haven’t ever been involved in the ranch.  Still, Finn has a plan.  He’s certain his brothers don’t really want to work on the ranch, so he will just buy out their portion and send them on their way.  Well we all know what they say about best-laid plans.

When Finn finds out things aren’t going to go quite the way he planned, he also discovers that his willpower to keep his hands off his best friend Lane Jensen isn’t quite what it used to be.   He’s spent years wanting Lane but kept his desire in check by reminding himself that she was too young for him and it wasn’t worth risking the most important relationship in his life by changing the rules.   Finn’s not cut out for relationships and certainly not marriage material but maybe he and Lane can both get what they need out of their friendship if they add a physical element to it.

 

Lane Jensen came to Copper Ridge at 16 to live with her brother Mark and put her painful past behind her.  She’s built a life she’s happy with and believes she’s moved on until she comes face to face with her past when her ex-boyfriend is suddenly all over the television.  Now every time she turns around she feels like she’s facing reminders of her past and is suddenly questioning the life she’s built.  As if that wasn’t enough, now Finn is trying to change everything about their relationship.  Doesn’t he realize that he’s the most important person in her life?  She isn’t about to let him risk their friendship when she needs him the most.  The problem is that now that she see’s Finn for the hot cowboy that he is, she can’t seem to stop fantasizing about him.

I enjoyed watching both Finn and Lane work through the demons of their past and being forced to reevaluate what they wanted from their futures.  I could relate to struggling with having to evaluate what you were worth or capable of after a less than ideal childhood.  I think this story worked so well because given the issues that both Finn and Lane had, the only way they were going to work through them rather than running away was with each other because nobody else mattered enough that they would stick around when things got uncomfortable.

I am really looking forward to learning more about Finn’s brothers Cain, Alex and Liam.  But then, who doesn’t love a whole new group of sexy cowboys.  I have a feeling the other Donnelly men are going to have some very diverse and emotional backstories.

 

three-half-stars

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Let It Ride – Vivian Arend – 5 stars

May 26, 2015 Read in 2015, Sent 0

I received this book for free from the Author . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Let It Ride – Vivian Arend – 5 starsLet It Ride by Vivian Arend
Published by NLA Digital LLC on 2015-05-19
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Western
Pages: 187
Source: the Author
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five-stars

He’s her rock in the midst of the storm

When Maggie Ward’s world is torn apart by sudden tragedy, the only thing that makes her days bearable is Clay Thompson’s unwavering presence. He’s protective, caring, and everything she could ask for in a friend. But when she finds herself longing for more than friendship, it will take a little seduction to convince the stubborn mechanic she’s ready to start living again.

She’s his heart, whether he knows it or not

Clay Thompson’s got the taking-care-of-others business down pat, only he’s never faced this particular challenge before—the one woman he’s always wanted is unexpectedly his to care for. Suddenly it's not just responsibility driving him, but a wild desire to make Maggie truly his. But following his heart might mean sacrificing the family he’s held together for years.

Tissue Warning on this one!!!

I have to say you will need them at the beginning and again as things come to a head but…  this story is so worth the pain.  There is something about the pair and how they truly do find a match in one another which honestly is true to what some people experience in their lives.  While the beginning was a bit brutal the love that they share made up for the pain.

Maggie has had everything collapse around her but the one thing she counts on is her friendship with Clay.  She’s strong and definitely hurting but I loved her dedication to living life and not hiding from everything that has happened.  You’ll love her willingness to admit when she needs help but also love that she doesn’t always need it.  She is strong and she’ll need to be in order to prove to everyone that she’s the best match for a strong man.  While not everyone will approve of their relationship I think that it was perfect and quite honestly where she needed to be.  Her willingness to open her heart back up to a man who meant so much to her and her past was wonderful to see but also to see that she truly saw him as his own person made me happiest.  She isn’t trying to replace what she had but is reaching for life again where she’s happy and whole.

Clay was amazing.  He’s so strong and caring that you’ll adore him as he struggles with doing what he thinks is right and taking what he wants.  Once he makes his mind up well….  actually hmmmmmm Maggie made it damn hard for him to stay “honorable” which is what he needed in order to be hers.  He’s also very family driven and what happens in this story made me mad for him and had my heart break a bit.  This moment doesn’t diminish the story in any way but makes it very clear what he wants and needs.  I enjoyed seeing his care and concern for Maggie with regards to sentiment in town but honestly she’s strong enough and to see her call him on his ways made me smile.  I also enjoyed that the one thing that could’ve kept them apart is what made them strong enough to reach for what was in front of them.

You get two strong people who have been brought to their knees by tragedy but where they end up is a beautiful place with a bit of trouble along the way…  I loved this story and can’t wait for more….

five-stars

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This Gun for Hire – Jo Goodman – 5 stars

April 8, 2015 Berkley Trade, Read in 2015, Sent 1

I received this book for free from the publisher . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This Gun for Hire – Jo Goodman – 5 starsThis Gun for Hire by Jo Goodman
Published by Penguin on 2015-04-07
Genres: Fiction, General, Historical, Romance, Western
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
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five-stars

"Perfectly crafted"—PW (starred review)

Jo Goodman, a premier writer of western romance and the author of In Want of a Wife, is back with a sensational new novel for fans of Linda Lael Miller and Joan Johnston

He’s got a job to do…

Former army cavalryman Quill McKenna takes pride in protecting the most powerful man in Stonechurch, Colorado: Mr. Ramsey Stonechurch himself. But the mine owner has enemies, and after several threats on his life, mines, and family, Quill decides to hire someone to help guard the boss’s daughter. Only problem is the uncontrollable attraction he feels toward the fiery-haired woman who takes the job.

…but she’s a piece of work.

Calico Nash has more knowledge of scouting and shooting than cross-stitching, but she agrees to pose as Ann’s private tutor while protecting her. But between her growing attraction to Quill and the escalating threats against the Stonechurches, Calico will soon have a choice to make—hang on to her hard-won independence or put her faith in Quill to create the kind of happy ending she never imagined…

I have to say I grabbed a copy of this on a bit of a whim but I am very happy I did.  This one made me laugh and fall for the main pair as there is something honest and unique about them.  The side characters were also well done but the times we see our main pair interact made the book for me.

Calico Nash is infamous…  People don’t know exactly who Calico really is but the exploits are talked about far and wide.  What we get is a woman *gasp* who isn’t traditional for the times.  She’s brash, outspoken, a great shot and above all else INDEPENDENT!  *faints*  I mean for the times she is definitely NOT a typical woman but I enjoyed that about her.  She was raised by her father and learned her bounty-hunting skills from him but honestly she doesn’t hunt just for the money.  She has very clear ideals and is willing to work to right things that aren’t taken seriously by most law enforcement.  She’s also very smart which serves her well when she takes a job pretending to be a teacher for a well-to-do young lady.  I enjoyed her wit and her willingness to own up to mistakes if the times warrant it but I mainly loved her ability to keep our hero on his toes.  She wants someone to love her but doesn’t understand this as it isn’t something she ever thought would be hers.  She is off her game at times with our hero but she recovers well and I think you’ll like her ways of getting him off-kilter.

Quill cannot lie.  I mean seriously he sucks at lying….  really he does…  I enjoyed him for this reason as it causes him some difficulties when he wants to keep Calico from doing something he wants to keep her safe from.  He’s smart and is wise enough to understand he’s not going to be able to keep her from getting her way but he does still try even though he loses.  I enjoyed watching him struggle with his attraction for a woman that should be all wrong for him.  I also quite enjoyed that while he did try to protect her it didn’t come from a place where he thought she was weak.  He really does appreciate her spirit even as it drives him insane.  He also is great at managing his charges even as they battle him every step of the way.

I think the main thing that kept me engaged was this wild ride that Quill and Calico take us on as they battle each other with wit, humor and mutual dislike that evolves in to something fun to see.  They really are well-matched and definitely bring out the best/worst in one another.

five-stars

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Rocky Mountain Romance – Vivian Arend – 4.5 stars

January 15, 2015 Read in 2015, Sent 1

I received this book for free from the Author . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Rocky Mountain Romance – Vivian Arend – 4.5 starsRocky Mountain Romance by Vivian Arend
on 2014-10-21
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Romance, Western
Source: the Author
Rocky Mountain Romance (Six Pack Ranch Book 7)<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00MS7HIQ2" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
four-half-stars

~~**From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Vivian Arend.**~~

Second chances are the sweetest—and the hottest.

It took a spectacularly embarrassing break-up to knock Steve Moonshine Coleman off his lazy butt. In the ten months since that night, he’s changed his ways. Now that Melody’s back in town, it’s time for this sweet-talking cowboy to convince her to get back in the saddle with him.

A return to her veterinary position in Rocky Mountain House was always in the cards for Melody Langley. Getting back together with Steve? Never part of the plan. He had lots of potential but zero ambition, and there’s no way she’ll accept anything less than a man who can keep up with her, in and out of bed.

But the new-and-improved cowboy is impossible to resist, so Melody issues a challenge. Three months to prove he’s reformed. Three months of Steve orchestrating one sexual indulgence after another—‪wicked distractions from the old boys’ club Melody faces at work and Steve's growing responsibilities‬.

He’s got one shot to prove with more than words what’s in his heart and soul.

Warning: Fifty percent less angst, twice as much filthy-talking, dirty-daring cowboy. Get ready for a whole lot of make-your-knees-weak wooing from a man intent on proving he’s got what it takes, and the woman ready to push him way past his limits.

I hate that it took me so long to read this book but when I did…  as usual..  I loved it.  Vivian has a way with making you love her cowboys and appreciate the strength that her heroines have.  Both of the characters have vulnerabilities and the way you get to know them as the story progresses makes you cheer louder when they finally get everything together.

Melody is back where she considers home and doing what she loves best, taking care of animals, but she also is back where she had her heart broken.  Well maybe not broken but hurt by someone that meant more to her than he knew or seemed to feel about her.  She’s determined to not let him mean anything to her now so why is she driving in to town via roads that are on his family’s land?  She gets to see him much sooner than she expected and is trying to convince herself that he doesn’t make her want to do all sorts of things with him (which I heartily agree with) but she’s surprised by his more mature behavior.  I liked that she was cautious with him but that she also let him in even as other things were getting crazy.  She’s strong but open to letting things fall where they may and doesn’t tend to let the little things throw her.  I also appreciated that she wasn’t willing to be a doormat but also didn’t immediately fly off the handle at situations she was placed in.  She takes her time and evaluates the situation then tries to take the path that will support change but not offend and allow everyone to save face.  She also is willing to admit to her own shortcomings when push comes to shove and that was appreciated.

Steve admits he was a bit of a child when he and Melody imploded.  He didn’t take things too seriously but now he’s changed and realized that he may have lost the one woman who was/is his world.  He’s not too proud to admit that he made mistakes but he wants a chance to prove he’s not the same boy that she knew.  He’s grown up and is all man now but he’s a man who wants a partner.  He doesn’t want it to be all about him but all about them and what they can build.  He is extremely happy when Melody returns and starts his campaign to get her to give them another chance as soon as he sees her.  What we get to see is a hero that will do all in his power to prove to his heroine that he is it for her.  I loved his family and their “assistance” but mainly that he was willing to listen to those around him to really figure out what Melody needed and wanted from him.  He listens to her but at times it does take a third party to open his eyes to what it could look like to her.  I liked how willing he was to admit to his mistakes and try to fix them by opening his mind up to other opinions but mainly that he listened to her when he was making plans for them.

I hope you will give this series a shot as it has been such a wonderful set of stories centered around a family that truly knows what it means to work, love and enjoy life.

four-half-stars

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Broken – Laura Wright – 4 stars

October 7, 2014 Read in 2014, Sent, Signet Eclipse 1

I received this book for free from the publisher . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Broken – Laura Wright – 4 starsBroken by Laura Wright
Published by Penguin on 2014-10-07
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Western
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
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four-stars

The Cavanaugh brothers left behind River Black, Texas, long ago. But after their father dies, bequeathing them the Triple C, a cattle ranch that sustains their small town, they return—and confront the painful memories of their childhood home and the truth about their sister’s murder... For years, James Cavanaugh has traveled the world as a horse whisperer, but even the millions he’s earned hasn’t healed the pain he hides behind his stoic exterior. Forced to tackle old demons at the ranch, James throws himself into work to avoid his true feelings. Until he meets a woman who shakes the foundations of his well-built walls... Sheridan O’Neil’s quiet confidence has served her well, except when it comes to romance. Refusing to allow her heard to led her to disaster, she chooses to focus solely on work. But after Sheridan is rescued from a horse stampede by the most beautiful cowboy she’s ever met, her vow to keep her heart penned wavers. Only, as Sheridan uncovers James’s belief that no woman is safe with him, she wonders if such a wounded man could ever give in to love, or if some hearts are too broken to be healed....

I loved this story of a man who has convinced himself that he doesn’t deserve to have love and a woman who has convinced herself that opening herself to a relationship would be akin to disaster.

Sheridan is lonely…  she chooses to keep herself at a distance from relationships of any kind because of watching the destruction that was her parent’s marriage.  She’s smart but she just has so many walls up at the beginning of this story you aren’t sure if they will ever come down.  As she starts to open up to having friendships we get to see a woman that is very wounded and passionate who needs someone to cherish this with all of his heart.  I loved seeing her build friendships and let people get close to her outside of the office.  I also loved that when she decided to take what she wanted she went full in.  There are no partial measures with her when it comes to James and I found that I loved that.  She also wasn’t willing to settle for nothing less than everything from him and even though it killed me to see her do what she did it was the right choice.  She deserved everything from her partner and it took a very strong will to not be willing to take anything less.

James… *fans self*…  he’s definitely easy on the eyes and when he lets himself have what he “knows” isn’t for him you see a man that loves deeply but is still so haunted by his past that he almost loses the one thing that means everything.  He’s a good man struggling with a massive load of guilt from his sister’s death and an incident with an ex that he doesn’t believe he deserves love.  He is so afraid of losing another person he loves or them being hurt because of him that he pushes everything away.  He’s got a lot of heart and dear lord is the man sexy as hell when he gives in to what he wants.  I loved his sense of right and wrong even as I wanted to slap him for keeping people at a distance.  When he finally lets people in we get to see what most of us would love to have..  a man that is devoted to his partner and his family.

I liked seeing more of what happened in the family’s past and am looking forward to finding out who killed their sister.  I think this family deserves that closure after the hell they lived thru after the murder.

Special thanks to the team at Signet Eclipse for letting me have this book early.  I am ready for Cole’s story now..

four-stars

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